Fling streams videos from PC to Chromecast (no browser required)

Google’s Chromecast lets you stream videos from the internet to your TV using a smartphone, tablet, or PC web browser as a remote control. But developers have been figuring out how to stream videos directly from a mobile device to the Chromecast, and now there’s an app that lets you do the same thing with a PC.

Developer Leon Nicholls has released a free app called Fling which should run on any computer with Java.

Update: It was fun while it lasted — Google has released a firmware update for the Chromecast that disables support for this sort of local video streaming.

Fling

Up until now, if you wanted to stream a video from a PC to a Chromecast device the easiest way was to drag and drop that video into a Chrome browser tab on your computer. The problem with doing things that way is that it uses Chrome’s tab casting feature which basically involves encoding a video of the browser tab in real-time and sending it to the Chromecast.

In other words, instead of just streaming the video directly, you’re playing the video in your browser, encoding it in real-time, and sending it over a WiFi network where it’s decoded. It takes an awful lot of system resources to do that.

Fling cuts out the Chrome web browser and the Google Cast SDK and should allow you to send a video to your TV without jumping through those hoops. You can then control media playback using the on-screen play, pause, and stop buttons.

There’s also experimental support for video formats that aren’t normally supported by the Chromecast. But to do that, you’ll need to transcode the media into a format accepted the Chromecast. Fling uses the free VLC media player app for transcoding, but you’ll need to install VLC yourself.

via Chrome Story

  • Sam Minter

    Fling works phenomenally well. I love how far the Chromecast has come in only a month…and mostly without Google’s intervention. Makes the perfect companion to my first generation Sony GoogleTV Blu-Ray player.

  • brian

    shame the chromecast I ordered a couple of weeks ago doesn’t show delivery until november or so.

    • Zaatour36

      are you kidding me!!

      I guess it will be soon in every home/workplace, and that’s freaking awesome :)

    • anon

      Show up at a big brick and mortar Best Buy directly after one of their two weekly resupply trucks (they arrive Monday and Wednesday at my local branch) and you’re likely to pick one up WITH three free months of Netflix.

    • NebraskaTPP

      I got mine yesterday. I expect it will be to you in a week or so is what I heard.

  • brian

    I could actually see chromecast getting deployed in conference rooms. Plug the chromecast into the conference room HDTV and send to that. Get rid of the cable clutter and everyone trading video cables all the time during meetings.

    • Zaatour36

      true, and I hope so

      • Sam Minter

        I too think it’d be a great addition but captive wifi portals like the ones we have at my office could be a problem. You’d essentially have to have a conference room router just for the Chromecast to circumvent this limitation. While that would work for most private entities, my government office is very paranoid about Rogue wifi connections and practically have a gestapo to hunt them down as potential threats to the state network.

  • dustin

    what kind of router do you have?

  • badmotorfingef

    Google’s new Chromecast update just killed Fling.

  • Justin

    I would think that this software could easily be updated to support Chromecast again (Now that Google re-opened the SDK).